The U.S. Senate Finance Committee, one that directly affects Oklahoma’s energy industry as well as individuals just got a new member this week—Sen. James Lankford.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the announcement this week that Lankford would join the Finance Committee for the 116th Congress. He will also keep his current assignments to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Indian Affairs.
“It is an honor to be selected to serve on the esteemed Senate Finance Committee,” said Lankford. “This Committee is front and center on tax policy, healthcare, and trade, all of which are some of the top priorities for Oklahomans. As the new Congress convenes, we must create commonsense solutions that allow the American people to live their lives without fear of unnecessary government intervention. I look forward to adding Oklahoma’s voice to these important issues in the days ahead.”
Lankford has been a leading voice on a number of issues that fall under the jurisdiction of the Finance Committee, including international trade, for which he secured one of the only Senate amendments on trade policy; healthcare; and solvency of federal support programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
He most recently introduced the Lessening Impediments from Taxes (LIFT) for Charities Act, which would repeal a new section of the tax code that requires some tax-exempt organizations, like churches, to pay federal taxes on employee benefits, like parking, meals, or transportation.
The Committee on Finance was established as a standing committee of the Senate in 1816 and is one of the oldest and most powerful committees in the Senate. It has the largest jurisdiction among both the House and Senate and oversees more than 50 percent of the federal budget. Its primary areas of jurisdiction include taxation and other revenue measures; bonded debt of the United States; customs; reciprocal trade agreements; tariffs; general revenue sharing; Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TANF, and other Health and Human Services programs financed by a specific tax or trust fund; and social security.